The Madonna of the Burning Bush

Object Details


The Madonna of the Burning Bush


Georges Trubert (French, active Provence, France 1469 - 1508)




Provence, France (Place created)


about 1480 - 1490


Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment


Leaf: 11.4 x 8.6 cm (4 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.)

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In this book of hours, an image of the Madonna and Child prefaces a prayer commonly found in books of hours. Addressed to the Virgin, it begins with Obsecro te domina (I beseech you lady). The image's painted gold frame serves as a support for the beginning of the text. Georges Trubert depicted the jewel-encrusted frame as a three-dimensional object casting a shadow on the page, while the chain from which it hangs runs through two slits seemingly cut into the surface of the page, an outstanding example of trompe-l'oeil.

The bush that burned but was not consumed, which Moses encountered while on Mount Sinai, appears below the image of the Virgin crowned as Queen of Heaven. Medieval theologians likened the bush to Mary's virginity, which remained intact after the conception of Christ. The flames spreading from the flowering bush form a decorative, rhythmic border for the entire page.

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